Last night I was cold as I put on my sleeveless nightgown. Sure, summer is technically over but the sun still keeps us warm by midday and women can wear open-toe shoes. I still see people in flip flops.
Shivering, I quickly changed into pajamas - warmer top, long pants and socks.
"Cold?" my husband called to me. "We'll close the windows," he said.
I hurried into bed and under the covers, our comforter needed now. I was warm and it was easy to get that way.
How easy it is for most of us to quickly grab a warmer pair of pajamas.
In a single moment and without hesitation we find a way to warm up...and stay warm all night long. We can't take this moment for granted. We can't lose sight of how many families may not even have pajamas to change into - how many children sleep in their clothes. How many families feel a cold that comes from neglect and loneliness. The change in weather only amplifies their chill.
My friend Willie who works with children in distress has a good way of describing how most of us feel about our bedtime rituals,
"As we lounge and sleep in our pajamas we feel a degree of comfort and trust in knowing that is all well and all will be well with me in the world. Pajamas have a way of helping us feel that it's okay to relax and go easy. Pajamas also, for some unknown reason, help us sleep better. We all know that when we get a good-night sleep, we're better able to cope and manage whatever the new day brings."
Willie is right. We take our bedtime rituals for granted and simply expect to wake up refreshed to meet tomorrow. A chill in the air? No problem, change into our flannels and grab an extra blanket. Can't sleep? We can read one of the bestsellers on our nightstands to tire our eyes. We are warm and we are drowsy. The only chill we feel at bedtime is from Summer turning to Autumn. Too many others feel a constant cold that no blanket will warm. More than 16 million children in the United States - 22% of all children - live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level. (National Center for Children in Poverty) One in 45 children experience homelessness in America each year. That's over 1.6 million children. (National Center on Family Homelessness)
Summer turns to Autumn which turns to Winter. Many of us have what is necessary to shield ourselves from the cold. We may say a prayer giving thanks and asking for support and guidance tomorrow. Let's say a prayer for those who may not have the same blessings. Better yet, let's work together to share our blessings and keep each other warm.